Do you have troubles with getting sharp images or finding your images just a little bit blurry?
When I started taking photography, getting a sharp image was kinda hard and I found that about one half of my shots were either out of focus or focused on the wrong subject. It was either from me using the wrong focusing mode on the camera or I was letting the camera pick the focusing point for me in auto mode. Even when I was shooting landscapes or scenes that are stationary, I still had images that were not tack-sharp. I found out that this blurry photo issue is often caused by when the camera is not on a sturdy surface, when the camera needs a micro adjustment for the lens you are using, or some other reasons that could affect sharpness. To solve all the problems, I wanted to give you my Top 5 Tips for Sharper images. So let’s start!
- USING A TRIPOD: Using a tripod sounds like a no-brainier but it is also a one thing that a lot of people over look. If you are shooting anything that is close to the reciprocating rule for your lens, then you should be on a tripod. I use a Oben Carbon Fiber tripod. It’s half the price of a Gitzo but just as strong. I love it and I can not recommend enough to pick up this tripod.
- USING A REMOTE/TIMER: One thing you will always find in a landscape photographer’s bag is a Remote Trigger. The reason they use a remote trigger is to eliminate anything that will introduce camera shake to your camera. You can also use your camera’s built in timer to keep your finger off the shutter button. Even when the camera just moves just a tiny bit, it will slightly blur your image.
- USING MIRROR LOCK UP: On most DSLR’s, there is a function that lets you have the mirror move up out of the way of the sensor before the image is taken. This is called Mirror Lock up mode. Doing this will help reduce camera shake. Like I said before, camera shake is your worst enemy when it comes to long exposure shots. On mirror-less cameras like Sony A7 line up, they don’t have a mirror so this is not an issue.
- USING THE “SWEET SPOT” OF THE LENS: The mechanics behind finding the “sweet spot” of a lens can be fairly complex, as it is very mathematical. Some lens preform better at their wide end than their telephoto end. Some are great at a Low F stop and some preform like crap. In simpler terms, every lens is different and should be treated differently. However, for a good starting point, I recommend shooting in the F/8-F/13 aperture range.
- MANUALLY FOCUSING WHILE ZOOMING IN: I learned this trick from Jimmy McIntyre in one of his blog posts(His blog is here). The trick is to manually focus and zoom in to get critical focus on the subject. Manually focusing will insure that you stay tack-sharp after you zoom in and focus on a point in your photo. Here is a video I just made about this very helpful trick.
Here is the image taken from that video. It was taken with the Sony 10-18 APS-C lens on a FULL FRAME Sony A7r. Yes, it works amazing and I am currently working on a review of this lens which will be out very soon. So stay tuned for the review in the near future.
My images became very sharp after I introduced these Top 5 Tips for sharper images into my workflow. I learned that shooting at F/22 will slow down my shutter speed but it also reduces my image sharpness, so I learned to use and carry around a ND filter with me. I used to own a Nikon D7000 that had a HUGE issue with micro adjustment for every lens I owned. From this experience what I learned was it might be not you, it could be just the gear. Now I have moved to this Sony Mirror-less system that has no mirror and it removes the whole issue. Best thing I can recommend to any person wanting to get a very sharp image is to adopt this Top 5 Tips for sharper images. Get a sturdy tripod and a remote and use the manually focusing with zooming in, then you should start to see sharper images immediately. Here is another video with me using my Top 5 Tips for sharper images.
So do you have any tricks for getting sharper images? please share it in the comments down below.